Kumani Christians Contesting Masculinity and Belief in Modern Mission

Authors

  • Rhonda A Semple St Francis Xavier University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/rsth.v33i2.225

Keywords:

Kumaon, Christian faith, masculinity, Protestant missions, nineteenth century, martiality

Abstract

The work and impact of modern Western missions was as much shaped by secular cultural constructs as it was by the formal goal that missions impart faith and create converts in a transcultural setting. This article extends the gender analysis of mission work and community identity to the male mission adherent in the Kumaon Protestant Christian community in north India. The evidence examined is mission-generated letters, reports and published articles, and particular attention is paid to photographic images of mission workers. Men were additionally shaped by their place in a martial British system that sought both reliable recruits and settled communities, with the result that many men fought and lived outside their communities. The findings suggest that in order to examine the negotiation of an acceptably gendered Kumani-Christian identity it is necessary to look beyond mission sources to
understand ways in which that confessional identity was at times supported by and challenged by worldly pressures of what constituted manliness.

References

Badley, Bishop Brenton T. 1931. Visions and Victories in Hindustan: A Story of the Mission Stations of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Southern Asia, 2 vols. Madras: Methodist Publishing House.

Ballantyne, Tony. 2006. Between Colonialism and Diaspora: Sikh Cultural formations in an Imperial World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/9780822388111

———. 2010. “The Changing Shape of the Modern British Empire and its Historiography.” The Historical Journal 53(2): 529–552. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X10000117

Bates. Crispin. 2006. Beyond Representation: Colonial and Postcolonial Constructions of Indian Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bhardwaj, Surinder Mohan. 1973. Hindu Places of Pilgrimage in India: a Study of Cultural Geography. Berkely: University of California Press.

Bonk, Jonathan (ed.) 2002. “Rediscovering Missionary Photography” Special Edition of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research 26(4): 145–177

Bowie, Fiona. 1993. “Introduction” and Deborah Kirkwood, “Protestant Missionary Women: Wives and Spinsters,” Women and Missions Past and Present Anthropological and Historical Perceptions, 1–19 and 23–42. Providence, RI: Berg.

Bulloch, Rev. G.M. 1899. “Kafkote, an Outstation of Almora” The Chronicle of the LMS May: 102–106.

Council for World Mission Archives (CWM). School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. MS. North India (United Provinces) Correspondence (NI(UP)C). 6/1/D/104 H. Budden to J. Mullens, 14 June 1866.

/3/D/48 H. Budden Report on District Committee, n.d., received 20 April 1868.

/2/D/45 H. Coley to R. Wardlaw Thompson, 2 June 1884.

a/1 H. G. Bulloch, 2 April 1888

a/2 M. Budden, 3 April 1889

/2E. Oakley to R. Wardlaw Thompson, 30 June 1902.

/2 E. Turner to R. Wardlaw Thompson, 31 July 1902.

/2 F. Lenwood to R. Wardlaw Thompson, 23 December 1910.

CWM. India Pictures MS.380389.

Goodall, Norman. 1954. A History of the London Missionary Society, 1895–1945. London: Oxford University Press.

Government of India (GOI). 1909. “History of Nainital District.” In The Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 18., 324–325. Calcutta: Trubner.

———. 1967. “Scheduled Caste Order 1950: the Constitutional Scheduled Tribe Act”: Nainital: Uttar Pradesh.

Gullestad, Marianne. 2007. Picturing Pity: Pitfalls and Pleasures in Cross-Cultural Communication. New York: Bergahn.

Hall, Catherine. 1992. “Private persons vs. public someones: class, gender and politics in England, 1780–1850.” In White, Male, and Middle Class: Explorations in Feminism and History, 151–172. London: Polity.

Jenkins, Paul. 1990. “In the eye of the Beholder” In West African Economic and Social History: Studies in Memory of Marion Johnson, edited by David Henige and T.C. McCaskie. 69–80. Madison: African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kennedy, Dane. 1996. The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Levine, Philippa. 2003. Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire. New York: Routledge.

Maughan, Steven S. 2000. “Civic Culture, Women’s Foreign Missions, and the British Imperial Imagination, 1860–1914.” In Paradoxes of Civil Society, edited by Frank Trentmann. 199–222. New York: Berghahn.

Perry, Cindy L. 1997. Nepali Around the World: Emphasizing Nepali Christians of the Himalayas. Michigan: Ekta.

Pratt, Mary Louise. 1992. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation. London: Routledge.

Rai, Indra Bahadur. 2009. Gorkhas Imagined. Kalimpong: Mukti Prakashan.

Robinson, Francis Robinson, ed. 1989. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Roy, Kaushik. 2001. “Coercion Through Leniency: British Manipulation of the Courts-Martial system in the Post-Mutiny Indian Army, 1859–1913” The Journal of Military History 65: 937–965. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2677624

Semple, Rhonda. 2003. Missionary Women: Gender, Professionalism and the Victorian Idea of Christian Mission. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer.

———. “Christian Model, Mission Realities: The business of regularizing family in mission communities in late nineteenth-century north India.” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 14(1). http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_colonialism_and_colonial_history/v014/14.1.semple.html

———. 2012. “Connecting Disconnections: troubling meanings of Christian conversion in Imperial north India.” In Asia in the Making of Christianity: Conversion, Agency, and Indigeneity, edited by Richard Fox Young and Jonathan Andrew Seitz, 347–370. Leiden: Brill.

Sinha, Mrinilini. 1996. Colonial Masculinity: The “manly Englishman” and The “Effeminate Bengali” in the Late Nineteenth Century. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Subba, Tanka Bahadur, ed. 2009. Indian Nepalis: Issues and Perspectives New Delhi: Concept Publishing.

Tjelle, Kristen Fjelde. 2014. Missionary Masculinity, 1870–1930 The Norwegian Missionaries in South-East Africa. Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137336361

Venkatraman, G. R. 1988. Char Dham Yatra: Ecstatic Flight into Himalayas. Delhi: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Walton, H.G. 1904. “Almora.” District Gazetteers of the United Provinces 35: 122–161. Calcutta, Trübner.

Published

2014-12-16

How to Cite

Semple, R. A. (2014). Kumani Christians Contesting Masculinity and Belief in Modern Mission. Religious Studies and Theology, 33(2), 225–242. https://doi.org/10.1558/rsth.v33i2.225

Issue

Section

Articles